CHILDREN as young as five have been excluded from schools for serious sexual abuse, watching pornography and sharing inappropriate images of themselves, according to shocking new figures.
Records obtained from more than 40 councils across the country showed North Yorkshire schools had one of the highest levels of pupil exclusion for sexual misconduct.
Nationally the worst area was Derbyshire with 157 cases between January 2010 and September this year followed by North Yorkshire with 124. North Lincolnshire Council said 51 incidents had been recorded while in North East Lincolnshire there was 12. Elsewhere there was said to be just one in Manchester schools.
Education bosses in North Yorkshire warned that the figures may not be comparable as local authorities record incidents in different ways. The records were obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request. Fewer than a third of the 153 education authorities responded.
The responses from councils show hundreds of pupils have been banned from class for varied “sexual misconduct”, including assault, harassment and bullying. Others have been excluded for inappropriate touching, lewd behaviour and sexual graffiti. Some children were disciplined within their first year at school – when new learners are aged between four and five – while 13-, 14- and 15-year-olds are the most likely to be sanctioned. The investigation found more than 2,000 reported incidents between January 2010 and September 2013.
Former children’s television presenter and Lib Dem peer, Baroness Benjamin, said: “I believe one of the main contributory factors is children being exposed to pornographic online material which is easily available on the internet, and they are emulating what they see. They want to discover what it feels like to experience the sexual act they have seen and if they don’t achieve the level of satisfaction they expect they move on to the next girl.”